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The History of International Soccer

The laws of the game of international soccer are governed by one official body - The International Football Association Board (IFAB). This organisation is entrusted with determining the Laws of the Game for association soccer across all competing countries.

Most sports that wish to compete at an international level will rely on a board such as this in order to preside over game play and solve any discrepancies. This is usually the case with physical sports, such as soccer and hockey, but also with games like poker and chess. However, the composition of the International Football Association Board is a little unusual.

Soccer has its roots in the United Kingdom, and there is still a strong British within the rules of the game. The International Football Association Board is comprised of four representatives from the UK. One representative is take from each of the UK's pioneering football associations - England's Football Association (The FA), the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Northern Ireland's Irish Football Association (IFA).

There are then four more representatives, which are part of FIFA - the French Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Any decisions which are made by the International Football Association Board must have the approval of three-quarters of the board. This ensures that FIFA's vote is required in order for any decisions to be approved, but they are unable to pass any changes to the international Laws of the Game, without the support of at least two UK members.

The International Football Association Board continue to meet bi-annually, first in either February or March, and then again between September and October. Any rules which are passed at the first of these meetings are then binding for members of international soccer associations from the 1st of July that year. However, when associations have not yet completed their current season, the introduction of such changes may be delayed until the beginning of their next season.

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